In yet another fallout from the downward spiral that now defines Lance Armstrong's career, the Livestrong cancer charity founded by the former cyclist announced on Tuesday that it has ended its nine-year relationship with Nike, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Officials of the foundation said via a statement that Livestrong is "deeply grateful" to Nike, which helped raise $100 million for the organization over nearly a decade, and will remain committed to helping cancer patients worldwide despite the split, according to the report:
"Together, we created new, revolutionary ways of thinking about how non-profits fuel their mission and we're proud of that...This news will prompt some to jump to negative conclusions about the foundation's future. We see things quite differently. We expected and planned for changes like this and are therefore in a good position to adjust swiftly and move forward with our patient-focused work."Livestrong officials also said Tuesday that it remains healthy financially, pointing to a claim that it is already 2.5 percent ahead of revenue projections for 2013 despite reducing its budget nearly 11 percent to $38.4 million. The Nike-Livestrong split on Tuesday comes approximately eight months after Nike dropped its own sponsorship of Armstrong. In the fall 2012, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency reported that Armstrong's team has participated in a doping program that helped him win seven Tour de France titles.